Diabetes in pregnancy

Nationally diabetes affects 3-5% of all pregnancies with the incidence of both pre-existing diabetes and gestational diabetes continuing to increase over recent years.

At Medway NHS Foundation Trust, 5% of our pregnancies are complicated by some form of diabetes. Women who are known to have diabetes or those who develop diabetes in pregnancy are seen in a specialist clinic at Medway Maritime Hospital by members of our team who include the following:-

  • Obstetrics Consultant
  • Diabetic Consultant
  • Specialist Diabetes Dietician
  • Diabetes Specialist Midwives.

Initial contact will be with the Diabetes specialist midwife who will explain how diabetes can impact on pregnancy and make any necessary referrals including clinic and scan appointments.

Women with Pre-existing diabetes

Women will be contacted as soon as a pregnancy referral is made, this can be a self-referral or by a Midwife or Doctor.

Normal diabetes health checks will be undertaken and glucose target levels for pregnancy discussed.

Pregnancy care will be outlined and a dating scan will be arranged.

Extra screening is provided by the fetal medicine department with specialist cardiac and growth scans. Referrals to other specialist services may be required where there is worsening/development of conditions such as retinopathy, nephropathy or neuropathy.  

Women with gestational diabetes

Gestational Diabetes (GDM) is diagnosed by a Glucose Tolerance test (GTT) in pregnancy; this is usually performed between 24-28 weeks for women in at risk groups or at onset of pregnancy if you have had GDM in a previous pregnancy.

GTT may also be offered to you if you have a large baby or extra fluid surrounding your baby on ultrasound scan.

After diagnosis you will be seen and supported by the Diabetes Specialist Midwife and clinical team.

Further information is available on the following websites

NICE website

NHS Diabetes                                                 

Diabetes UK